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I know that this is a well worn path, but ...
Having suffered major depression for most of my adult life (4 separate long-term stays in hospital, goodness knows how many different kinds of treatment - including ill-fated ECT), I finally got 'top side' of it after a stay in a specialist unit in Newcastle 15 years ago (I didn't suddenly get better, it was still a long road and CBT helped enormously). I finally got back to work 8 years ago - after being unable to work for 10 years - when I took on being manager of a charity shop. I did this successfully for 5 years, after which I left to do a PGCE, which I loved, and am now working at an FE college - not teaching, but I'm studying for my Level 5 subject specialism in literacy and ESOL and working in a lovely team.
HOWEVER, I've been peri menopausal for about 8 years - which has been a nuisance, with bad night sweats, intensified PMS symptoms, concentration problems and an overwhelming desire to punch anyone who so much as looks at me 'wrong'(!). [This particularly applies to all women who have loftily informed me that they had 'decided not to have a menopause' (meaning, in other words, it's a 'mind over matter' issue. My interpretation of this is that they clearly have had very few symptoms and imagine that this is how it is for all women)].
Over the the past few months, my symptoms have ramped up several gears and almost every night is a sheet changing night. Worse, though, is the emotional stuff - I'm highly anxious, depressed, lethargic and just cry and cry ...
I worked SO hard to get myself well after my depression - I felt I was well for the first time in my life (I had experienced low mood since being about 11 or 12, before it got to hospitalisation when I was 31). I didn't just feel it, I really was.
I'm 49 next week and feel as though I can't face it, or life in general. I just sort of muddle through and wonder what has happened to the confident and relaxed woman I worked so hard to become. if I manage to get through the day without crying / having to lie down I'm doing well. I can't face other people - though I manage to hold it together at work.
I really want HRT - I am just not prepared to go through this longer than I have to, having felt like cr*p for so much of my life already. My GP is great and agrees that this is the next logical step - NB I can't go on anti-depressants as I'm already on 3 different ones as it is (!). I have absolutely no problem with taking meds.
I'm worried about going on to 'long cycle ' HRT - I'm still having periods - as I know that progesterone can have depression as a side effect. I've been trying to reassure myself that it will be OK asI will only be replacing hormones I have 'lost'.
Does anyone have any advice / reassurance? My decision to go down the HRT route has been reached after a lot of thought; it's not a split second thing..
Sorry that this has been such a long post - I could have said all this in a lot fewer words, I got a bit carried away ...
Any advice/thoughts gratefully received!
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